Cold Weather Street Treats

May 14th, 2019 § 0 comments

HG was five years old, living with his parents in a fourth floor (no elevator) apartment in the southeast Bronx. It was minutes from the Bronx Zoo and HG slept with the soothing sounds of roaring lions in the background. City boy HG saw lions, elephants and tigers long before HG saw a cow. Horses were familiar. Manned by Italians, they hauled vegetable and ice wagons. (Refrigerators came later and were advertised as a luxury). With a few pennies in his pocket, HG would race down to the street to join his small pals in fun and games. Favorite street food treat was a “mickey.” This was a potato (stolen from a greengrocer stand) and roasted in a wood fire in an empty building lot. Pennies bought other cold weather good things. An old, bearded Jew wheeled a cart and yelled “Hayseh ahrbis !!.” He sold hot garbanzo beans bathed in chicken fat and dusted with kosher salt. A penny bought an overflowing cup and a toothpick Another cart sold sweet potatoes with a pat of butter melting inside. The eating utensil was a tiny wooden paddle. Cost: Two or three cents. Warm weather was the season for Italians and their carts. They sold cups of ices and slices of coconut. The weather turned cold in New Mexico yesterday. Alert to the weather, BSK baked some lush sweet potatoes. As good as yesteryear.

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